The iPlayer from the BBC, the new online video program service available in the U.K., has gone through a number of changes in its platform and distribution since its introduction last year.

Launched initially for PC’s with viewing only on Microsoft Window Media Player, the video player has added Flash and can be viewed on the Mac.  The content delivery network powering the platform was from Verisign and has shifted primarily to Akamai, industry sources tell Beet.TV

While the organization and content of the iPlayer has gotten positive notices, the   bandwidth demands of the enormous files are proving to be a big strain on ISP’s in the U.K. who are seeking to be paid to carry the load.

The BBC is seeking to create a new way to deliver content that does not burden the ISP’s.  It has launched a project to solve the program, calls it "Project Cheetah."  News of the project was first reported by The Independent in December.

One of the companies involved with Project Cheetah is Velocix, a British CDN.  The company recently raised a $25 million venture round

Velocix CEO Phill Robinson stopped by our studios for a chat last week.  He explains that the big challenge facing video publishers is the delivery of giant files to ISP’s who are running out of bandwidth and will be forced to greatly increase pricing.  Great explanation, here.

In an unrelated development late last week, the BBC’s announced that the iPlayer can be viewed on the iPhone in the U.K.

— Andy Plesser

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